Monday, July 2, 2012

Baby Dress Tutorial

This past week, I had the chance to get some sewing done and I had a lot of fun!  I made a couple of dresses for my baby girl.  The first one I made came out great but it was a trial and error process and I didn't document it with all the photos that I had hoped to.  When I made the second one, which is slightly different but I used the same process, I made sure to take pictures.  Here is a little tutorial on how to make your own.

What you will need (what I used for a dress for my average sized 5 month old):
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for the dress
  • Matching (or contrasting) thread
  • 2 or 3 snaps
  • Ribbon or rick-rack for embelishment if desired
1. For the skirt part of the dress I just cut 2 rectangles that were 13" high and 20" long. 

2. I used a dress that I loved the fit of, as a reference and I sketched a pattern for the bodice.  I placed my pattern on the material making sure to have all the pieces placed in the same direction on the fabric which will help keep any shrinking all in the same direction and will keep any pattern on the material even.  I also wanted my bodice to be two layers, so I made sure to have the material folded in half before I placed the patterns. 

3. I cut out 3 waist pieces, also doubled layered.  One was for the front, 1 1/2" high by 10 1/2" long.  Two were for the back, 1 1/2" high by 6 3/4" long.  Here is a photo off all my pieces cut out (minus the front waist piece that I forgot to put in the photo).  You should have 2 front bodice pieces, 2 back right bodice pieces, 2 back left bodice pieces, 2 front waist pieces, 2 back right waist pieces, 2 back left waist pieces and 2 skirt pieces.

4. Starting with the front bodice pieces sew along the curved arm hole and around the neck with the right sides together.  Turn so they are right sides out and iron flat.

5. Sew the two front waist pieces to the bottom of the front bodice and press the seam open.  Making sure that the 2 waist pieces are right sides out.

6. Next sew the two back right bodice pieces, wrong sides together, at the arm holes, the neck and down the side closest to the neck.  Turn right side out and press flat. 

7. Sew the two back right waist pieces together along one of the short sides with the wrong sides together. Flip it so the right sides are out and press the seam flat.

8. Sew that waist piece to the bottom of the two back right bodice pieces (making sure the two finished ends are on the same end) and press the seam open.

9.Do steps 6, 7 and 8 with the left side pieces.  Making sure that you have a right and a left.

10. For the next step, you need the skirt pieces.  You will need to gather the material along one of the long sides.  If you already know how to do this, skip to the next step, if not follow along.  Sew 2 lines of basting stitches about 1/4" to 1/2" apart along one of the long sides but do not back stitch at either end.  Leave the threads a few inches long at either end.  Take both top threads and slide the material along the threads and it will start to gather.  Gather the material all along that long side.  Do this with both skirt pieces

11. You want your skirt pieces to end up the same length as your front bodice piece, but if you are like me, you will end up gathering your material more than you need to.  That is an easy problem to fix, just redistribute your material along the threads until you have the right length.

12. Sew the skirt to the front bodice with right sides together.  The easiest way to do this is to find the center of the bodice and the center of the skirt and pin them together then find the center of each half of the skirt and bodice and pin again.  This will help to keep everything even.  When you sew these pieces together, make sure you are sewing below the last basting stitch so that you won't be able to see them after it's all together.  Iron the seam up. 

13. When you do this with the back pieces, overlap the two back bodice pieces and pin them together so that they are the same width as the front bodice piece. Then add the skirt the same way you did with the front.

14. Sew the front to the back along each side and at the top of the shoulder straps.

15.  Shorten as needed and hem the skirt with about a 1/2" hem.

16. Add snaps along the back of the bodice where the 2 pieces overlap.

17. Put on a beautiful little girl and enjoy!

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Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Found you via Skip to My Lou link party. You really did an amazing job on the dress~

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Danielle said...

Thanks Melanie! Glad you stopped by!

Anonymous said...

Very cute! Great job!!!

Narelle Heath said...

What a sweet dress! I love when little kids wear red (maybe because I can't). And adorable dress for an adorable girl!

Amanda @ Ninth Street Notions said...

So cute! Just love it. Thanks for sharing at I Made It! Monday. Be sure and grab a featured button when you link up this week.

Andrea @ No Doubt Learning said...

This is adorable! Last year my goal was to sew more and I did GREAT! But, something happened to this year...and it's already half over! I need to get out my machine. I'm having withdrawls!

Danielle said...

Amanda, thank you so much for hosting I Made It! Monday and for featuring me this week!

Andrea, I know what you mean about having withdrawls, that is what gave me modivation to make this dress. It had been way too long inbetween sewing sessions and I ended the weekend with 4 new dresses for my baby girl! Once I started, I couldn't stop!

Ashley said...

Too cute! I have been dying to learn how to sew so I can make my own things like this! Happy SITS day!

Joi said...

That is absolutely adorable! Happy SITS DAY!

Angie Nelson said...

That dress is crazy cute, Danielle. Happy SITS Day.

Priscilla Eatmon said...

I love this and it doesn't look severely difficult! Now if I could just figure out how to thread my sewing machine haha.

misssrobin said...

It looks beautiful on her. You did a great job. And you documented it well.

Bev Feldman said...

Such an adorable dress. Well done! Happy SITS day!

Sheila Skillingstead said...

So cute-both the dress and your daughter. I like to visit because they have great ideas and free patterns. Enjoy your SITS Day and your children.

Kat Biggie said...

Who would have guessed it would be that easy? Looks great! Happy SITS day!

Sarah Williamson said...

This came out SO cute! Awesome tutorial :)


The Liebers said...

How sweet! I love sewing clothes for my daughter, but I don't often have much time for it.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Such a sweet dress!

Mo @ The Baby is Fine said...

This is adorable and you made it look so easy! I love it!

Kristiina said...

So cute! I'm pinning this pattern to make for both of my pregnant girlfriends. Happy SITS day!

Denyse @ Crazy Beautiful Life said...

The dress is adorable, but the baby is beautiful!

shweta pednekar said...

Dis is so cute and i m definitely try for my niece and i m sure shes gonna like it. Thnx for d idea

Anonymous said...

Is it possible you could show a back photo of the dress as I love the dress and have tried to make one.

I am stuck with visualising how to attach skirt back to the back left and right bodice pieces. I am new to sewing and not sure if I need to cut the back skirt into two pieces? any help appreciated.

Kim said...

I'd love to make one of these for a friend who just had a baby girl. Can you share the pattern pieces you used for the bodice / non skirt part?

Kim said...

please email me here if you have the pattern pieces and can share.

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